Italian trade unions have held an unexpected anti-austerity demonstration in the capital Rome ahead of a planned public strike next week against the government’s tough economic policies.
The protest was staged on Friday at Rome's ancient Colosseum, where demonstrators, including the members of COBAS trade union, chanted anti-austerity slogans and demanded more job security in the country.
The protesters carried banners reading, “General strike, stop austerity. October 18, 2013.”
“This flash mob aims at promoting the demonstration of October 18th and the one on the 19th, which have completely disappeared from the country's political agenda,” said a protester during the rally.
Vincenzo Migliucci, a member of the trade union said, “As long as this political experience based only on austerity will continue, no doubt there will be a 2014 full of unemployed, full of temporary employees. The situation is degenerating.”
The eurozone’s third-largest economy has adopted the austerity measures to control its high public debt, which is currently 130 percent of its annual economic output.
Italy started to experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the same year.
Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.
Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes are extremely unpopular in Italy.
Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity, and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in the recent past.